State Sen. Mae Beavers and her husband, Jerry, are selling homemade Donald Trump campaign materials with profits going to Beavers’ political action committee rather than the Republican party or the Trump campaign, reports The Tennessean.
Beavers, who served as a Trump delegate and chair of Tennessee delegation at the Republican National Convention, has a booth at the Wilson County fair this weekend as well as a storefront operation.
Interested buyers will be able to choose from a host of different options ranging from $15 hats and T-shirts to $3 buttons and $5 yard signs.
Although the material, which features Trump and vice presidential candidate Mike Pence’s name on it, may look official, it was actually printed by the Beaverses.
“My husband and I have purchased it,” she told The Tennessean, explaining that the couple spent $5,000 to print gear that includes camouflage, red, black or blue hats and black and blue T-shirts that go as large as 2XL.
On Friday, Beavers said the fact that she’s selling homemade Trump gear, which she said was all made in the United States, is not an unusual practice.
“Everybody’s doing this all over the state,” she said.
But the idea of writing a check out to Jerry Beavers raised some eyebrows for Kathleen Wisnewski.
“I was quite stunned because if you’re making a check or donation it’s always made out to the campaign,” said Wisnewski, a Mt. Juliet resident who bought over $50 in gear from the Beaverses earlier this week at a downtown storefront they also are operating.
“For all I know, this to me sounds like it’s going in somebody’s pocket and I wanted my money to benefit the (Trump) campaign,” Wisnewski said, adding that if she had known the money wasn’t going to the Republican nominee’s campaign she wouldn’t have made the purchase.
“Maybe they should put up a sign that says ‘Not authorized by the Donald J. Trump committee,’ ” she said.
…What’s unique to the Beaverses’ operation is where the proceeds are going — Beavers’ political action committee.
“We will make a donation to Freedom PAC,” she said, describing the organization as one that supports political candidates. “My husband and I are keeping the books on the sales.”
Beavers changed the name of her political action committee from Liberty PAC to Freedom PAC in 2013, according to The Associated Press.
…On Friday, the Tennessee Republican Party sent out an email reminder to members of the State Executive Committee that they can purchase campaign gear, including yard signs featuring the official Trump-Pence 2016 logo, through the state party. Tennessee Republican Party Executive Director Brent Leatherwood said county parties frequently make purchases through the state GOP to ensure they are following federal guidelines, which require signage to include a portion that says who paid for it.